Festival of Lights: Thoughts of Peace for StudentsBy freshman Marissa Pappas WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2016 - 1:01 PM
"to learn about different faiths and how they celebrate peace"
Rivers Memorial Hall was filled with spirited Western New England University faculty, staff, and students for the annual Festival of Lights. The Office of Spiritual Life and the Student Senate worked together to provide a celebration of the upcoming holidays through musical performances, good food, and candle lighting, and personal statements of peace and unity from University students.
More than 100 students and faculty gathered together for the Festival of Lights, taking a much-needed respite to divert their focus from the stress of final exams and other personal pressures, to appreciate the value of peace and unity. The audience listened to holiday music played by Band Director Ted Levine on saxophone, as well as several vocal performances from Golden Bear Choir and other University students. Students also delivered explanations of the upcoming holidays including Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Three Kings Day, and Advent/Christmas. The students then shared personal memories, gratitude, and thoughts on peace.
“The Festival of Lights is meant to bring students and staff together to learn about different faiths and how they celebrate peace during this time of year. During the ceremony every person received a candle to light, which is a common religious tradition in many faiths,” Student Senate member and Festival of Lights Chairperson Rachel Bolduc stated. “This annual event helps remind students of the universal values the holiday season holds, and it helps them look forward to the holiday break.”
Toward the end of the ceremony, Rivers Memorial Hall glowed with the light of more than 100 candles held by participants. Special candle arrangements were also lit to recognize Kwanzaa, Three Kings Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, and other holidays.